RFA in the News (July 2018)

2018-10-16
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TIMES OF INDIA (also in LIONS ROAR)

July 31 “Tibetan spiritual leader says may return to India

… In an interview to Radio Free Asia (RFA), a Washington-based online news broadcaster, Karmapa said that he was in talks with the Indian government for his return.

TAIWAN NEWS

July 31 “US-China Trade War set to escalate, Beijing to switch out chief negotiator

According to Radio Free Asia, the next move appears to be removing Liu He from the negotiations. Liberty Times suggests that Liu He may serve the role of “political scapegoat” for Xi Jinping, and provide the CCP chairman with an opportunity to propagandize his own increased involvement in the negotiation

BUSINESS INSIDER (also in WORLD TRIBUNE)

July 30 “China uses threats about relatives at home to control and silence expats and exiles abroad

… Family members of five Radio Free Asia journalists, including two US citizens , were recently detained in an attempt to stop their reporting on human-rights abuses against Uighurs in the Xinjiang region.

KOREA HERALD

July 30 “Unification Ministry reiterates no coercion in defection of NK restaurant workers

… However, views remain divided. Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, referring to Quintana’s statement, told Radio Free Asia that the workers could have lied to protect family members back home who could be subject to harsh punishment, even the death penalty.

BANGKOK POST

July 30 “Belt tightening

… No official from any department has come to talk to us," one affected resident told Radio Free Asia. It reported that 12 households in Muang Xay in Oudomxay province were told recently that their compensation.

AFP (also in KOREA HERALD)

July 30 “Mud hampers Laos dam rescue as hundreds still unaccounted for

… But Laos Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath said poor design may have contributed to the accident, according to state media and Radio Free Asia.

NEWSWEEK (also in BLOOMBERG, TODAY ONLINE, DAILY BEAST, IFEX)

July 29 “Hun Sen—and China—Win Cambodia Elections

… He forced the closure of democratic institutions that had been in place for nearly three decades, including the U.S.-funded ASEAN and Radio Free Asia.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS (also in AUGUSTA FREE PRESS, CHINA DIGITAL TIMES, IPP REVIEW)

July 28 “China silencing overseas critics amid crackdown in Muslim region, says US journalist after family detained

… China is silencing overseas critics amid its crackdown on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, said Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalist Gulchehra Hoja at a United States congressional hearing on Thursday.

WASHINGTON POST

July 30 “A sweeping victory for Cambodian strongman’s party puts the West in a bind”, “Cambodian vote expected to deliver a defeat for U.N.-led pro-democracy efforts” and “‘My vote is useless’: Some refuse to cast ballots in Cambodian election

… The government has also muzzled independent news media and banned access to a number of websites in the days leading up to the vote, including the U.S.-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

WALL STREET JOURNAL (also in ABC NEWS, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, NEWSWEEK, REUTERS, TODAY ONLINE, NHK, ATLANTIC, VATICAN NEWS, AL JAZEERA, GLOBAL RISK INSIGHTS, STRAIT TIMES, STRAIT TIMES, GUARDIAN, BBC, ASIA TIMES, IRISH TIMES, PHNOM PENH POST, TIME, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS, PTV NEWS, AEC TODAY, KNIFE MEDIA )

July 27 “Cambodian Leader, Turning His Back on Western Threats, Plots Re-Election

… Internet providers had blocked access to websites such as those of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

THINK PROGRESS

July 27 “Cambodians prepare for election day as government tightens its grip on press freedom

… Former Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalists Yeang Sothearin and Uon Chhin have been in jail without trial since November for allegations of spying, a similar fate and charge leveled against Australian filmmaker James Ricketson, still awaiting trial since his June 2017 arrest.

CNN (also in MUSLIM NEWS, DECCAN HERALD)

July 26 “China's crimes against humanity you've never heard of

… This has reportedly included the banning dozens of Uyghur names, with violators at risk of not having their children's births registered; to forcing Uyghurs to denounce core tenets of their religion.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

July 26China sentences political cartoonist to 6 years and 6 months in prison

A Sichuan province court on July 13 sentenced Chinese freelance political cartoonist Jiang Yefei to prison for six years and six months on charges of "inciting subversion of state power," and "illegally crossing a national border," during a secret trial, according to the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Asia and the independent news website Hong Kong Free Press.

CHRISTIAN POST

July 26 “Beijing Churches Cry Out Against Communist Authorities as Religious Crackdown 'Gets Worse and Worse'

… "The normal religious lives of believers have been violated and obstructed, causing serious emotional harm and damage to their sense of patriotism, as well as causing social conflict," read the statement, as translated by Radio Free Asia.

NATIONAL INTEREST (also in CHOSUN ILBO)

July 26 “Report: North Korea’s Ruling Party Informs Officials Kim Regime Will Not Give Up Nukes

According to a report in Radio Free Asia, North Korea’s Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party has made a startling declaration: the communist country will not give up its nuclear weapons.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS (also in NEW YORK POST, ZEE NEWS, FIRST POST, TEN DAILY, METRO, CITY TODAY, EPOCH TIMES, BEIJINGER)

July 26 “Video: Police apprehend 26-year-old man after explosive device detonated outside US embassy in Beijing

… According to US-backed Radio Free Asia, eyewitnesses said that a man with a self-made explosive intended to throw it into the embassy.

PEN AMERICA

July 25 “Detention of Southern Mongolian Author is Putting Historical Inquiry on Trial

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Borjigin explained that he has told authorities “this was the truth about the Cultural Revolution . . . I was seeking truth from facts, and where was the crime in that?”

UPI

July 25 “Kim Jong Un visits food, bag factories with Ri Sol Ju

…The state-sanctioned reports of Kim's activities come at a time when markets in North Korea are selling trendy fitness equipment to Pyongyang's wealthy, creating fads among women, according to Radio Free Asia.

JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION

July 25 “Beijing Bids to Extend its Global Clean Energy Lead

…Despite a broader slowdown (Radio Free Asia, April 23) in outward foreign direct investment (FDI), Chinese investment in BRI countries has been growing—the value of acquisitions in those countries surpassed 2016 levels by August 2017 (Reuters, August 15, 2017).

AL JAZEERA (also in AUSTRALIAN, IFEX, REUTERS, ASIA TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

July 24 “Observers to monitor Cambodia elections after calls for boycott” and “Five things to know about Cambodia's general election

… The closure came weeks after a government crackdown on 32 radio stations, including Radio Free Asia's Phnom Penh bureau, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

WASHINGTON POST (also in NEW YORK TIMES, ASIA TIMES)

July 24 “Hundreds missing and several dead after huge dam collapses in Laos

…Last year, the U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia reported that residents of three villages had been forced to relocate to accommodate dam construction.

USA TODAY (also in ANI)

July 24 “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Religious persecution in Iran, China must end now

… Earlier this year, the State Department hosted six United States-based Uighur journalists with Radio Free Asia’s Uighur Service. Their reporting indicates that Chinese authorities are likely detaining, at least, hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps in Xinjiang.

UPI

July 24 “Report: Two killed, one injured in North Korea border city

A few days before the stabbing incident occurred, a family of four fled Hyesan for Changbai, China, Radio Free Asia reported.

KHMER TIMES (also in PHNOM PENH POST, UCA NEWS)

July 23 “Former RFA reporters denied bail

… The Supreme Court on Monday denied bail to two former Radio Free Asia reporters who remain jailed on espionage charges for allegedly sending reports to the United States.

CHOSUN ILBO

July 23 “N.Korea Opens Travel Agency in Taiwan

… Radio Free Asia reported last Thursday that the market was set up as a sort of no man's land in Wonjong-ri, Rason this month.

KHMER TIMES

July 20 “Monk scrutinised for harsh criticisms

… Venerable Hang Dara was singled out by the NEC after a video clip was published showing him insulting Radio Free Asia journalists and the United States during a CNP rally.

TOL

July 19 “Kazakh Trial Sheds Light on Interned Chinese Muslims

… By late 2017, an ethnic Kazakh said Chinese officials were under orders to detain up to 3,000 Uighurs and Kazakhs each week, Radio Free Asia reported.

CHOSUN ILBO

July 19 “N.Korea Revives Mass Games for Founding Anniversary

… According to Radio Free Asia on Wednesday, Chinese travel agency Koryo Tours offers no fewer than 11 tour packages that include mass calisthenics performances between Sept. 9 and 30. The cheapest tickets to the show are 80 euros.

BUSINESS INSIDER (also in TAIWAN NEWS, NEWSHUB, ASAHI SHIMBUN)

July 17 “A Chinese woman who poured ink over a Xi Jinping poster has been missing for 2 weeks, and her father was reportedly detained

… Hua and Dong's father, Dong Jianbiao, have been detained while publicly demanding to know her whereabouts, Agence France-Presse and Radio Free Asia reported.

BUSINESS INSIDER (also in SIASAT, TELEGRAPH)

July 16 “Police are reportedly cutting too-long dresses off ethnic minority women in the middle of streets in China

… Business Insider has not been able to independently verify these images, but Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, told Radio Free Asia that this is an "attack on Uighur women."

RADI CHINA

The Politics of Protection: Beijing Makes UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Bids

… Beijing rights activist Hu Jia told Radio Free Asia, “the Monument to the People’s Heroes and Tiananmen Square aren’t suitable for inclusion in the World Heritage List because of their strong political associations.”

UPI (also in ALBAWABA)

July 16 “North Korea pardons criminals to mark regime's 70th anniversary

… The country's 2012 pardon released those imprisoned for embezzlement, robbery, rape and theft, as well as political prisoners like those jailed for attempting to defect, Radio Free Asia reported.

KOREA TIMES

July 15 “Ethnic Chinese ordered to mourn for Kim Il-sung

… "There has been a directive order for ethnic Chinese in North Korea to participate," a source in North Hamgyong Province told Radio Free Asia.

KOREA TIMES

July 15 “N. Korea campaigns against anti-socialism after Singapore summit
… "All state-run karaoke rooms have been shut down recently while authorities were strongly cracking down on private karaoke rooms," a source told Radio Free Asia.

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES (also in TIMES (UK))

July 13 “Chinese Pressure From Beijing to Berlin On Anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s Death

Radio Free Asia spoke to other China-based activists about official efforts to prevent seaside commemorations.

KOREA JOONGANG DAILY

July 13 “Defectors might have lied to protect families

… The 12 North Korean restaurant workers who defected to the South in 2016 and told a local broadcaster that they were deceived about their final destination could have lied during the interview to protect their families back home, Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, told Radio Free Asia on Tuesday.

PHAYUL

July 12 “Tibetans protesting against mining in Kham Yushul beaten, tear-gassed

… According to a report by Radio Free Asia, on July 7, around 100 Tibetans were assaulted by Chinese police using tear gas after villagers protested at Upper Dechung in what they called was “illegal mining” operation in the region.

DEUTSCHE WELLE (also in NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW, and PHNOM PENH POST, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH)

July 12 “Cambodian activists fear for the future ahead of national elections

… The US-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia (RFA) also had to shut down in Cambodia in 2017. The official reason was that RFA didn't have the necessary licenses to work as news broadcaster in the country.

GUARDIAN (also in CPJ)

July 11 “Chinese dissident Qin Yongmin jailed after 'show trial'

… His wife, Zhao Suli, was detained alongside Qin in 2015 and was not seen until 2018 when she met relatives in a park in Wuhan, according to Radio Free Asia.

FX EMPIRE

July 10 “How Bitcoin Helps Bankroll North Korea’s Arms Program

… In a March interview with Radio Free Asia, Moriuchi said North Korea had managed to round up 11,000 Bitcoins, worth about $210 million at their peak last December (although just $72 million today).

CHOSUN ILBO

July 10 “N.Korea Drums up Investment in China

… North Korean economic officials are busy drumming up investment in China by telling businesses there that international sanctions will end soon, Radio Free Asia reported Monday.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

July 9 “Cambodia: Answer Demands for Justice in Kem Ley Murder

… Hun Sen brought a criminal defamation suit against political commentator Kim Sok after he alluded in an interview on Radio Free Asia (RFA) to the involvement of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) in Kem Ley’s assassination.

NEW ARAB

July 9 “The Uighur Muslim crisis is worse than you think

"China's security services have detained several close relatives of four US-based reporters working for Radio Free Asia in an apparent attempt to intimidate or punish them for their coverage of the Muslim-majority Xinjiang region," writes The Washington Post.

KOREA BIZWIRE

July 9 “Bottled Water a Symbol of Wealth in North Korea

Radio Free Asia cited a report filed by a member of the Swedish Red Cross that stated that one of the biggest problems North Korea was facing was acquiring clean water.

DEUTSCHE WELLE (also in UBYSEEY)

July 7 “Trade worries put extra burden on Germany-China talks

… The US government-funded news group Radio Free Asia reported in January that some 120,000 people were being held in a "political re-education" detention camp system in the Xinjiang region, though researcher Adrian Zenz told DW that the number could well be over 200,000.

WASHINGTON POST

July 7 “Richard W. Richter, founding president of Radio Free Asia, dies at 88

… Richard W. Richter, the founding president of Radio Free Asia who organized and led for 10 years its broadcasts to nations in East Asia that are subjected to government news censorship, died June 29 at a hospice in Issaquah, Wash. He was 88.

KOREA HERALD

July 5 “Crack in sanctions regime inevitable: expert

… China is relaxing its control of smuggling activities and customs inspections, and allowing restricted goods to flow across its border with North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported, citing unnamed sources.

REUTERS

July 4 “UN raises voice for release of Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo

… “A number of Chinese human rights lawyers are in detention or simply disappeared,” Alim Seytoff, director of the Uighur service at Radio Free Asia, said at a panel last week.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS (also in STRAIGHT, DAILY MAIL)

July 5 “Video: Concerns over whereabouts of Shanghai woman who splashed ink on Xi Jinping poster, as Twitter account disappears

… US-backed news outlet Radio Free Asia contacted her through Twitter, but she declined the interview request.


CPJ

July 3 “CPJ awardee 'Mother Mushroom' faces threats, poor prison conditions

… In an interview with the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Asia, Lan said Quynh now fears she will die in detention due to hostile cellmates and poor prison conditions.

ASIA NEWS

July 3 “Xinjiang: Children of Uyghur deportees locked in orphanages

… Children between the ages of six months and 12 years are locked up like farm animals in a shed, the source told Radio Free Asia.

PRI

July 2 “Chinese political cartoonist Rebel Pepper finds more artistic freedom in the US
… By this point, Rebel had moved to the United States, where he works as a political cartoonist for the US government-funded Radio Free Asia in Washington.

PHNOM PENH POST (also in KHMER TIMES)

July 2 “Supreme Court upholds Kim Sok’s incitement verdict

… Sok was convicted in August last year for “incitement to commit a felony” and defamation for his claim, broadcast on Radio Free Asia (RFA), that the prime minister’s party was behind Ley’s assassination.

AL JAZEERA (also in PHNOM PENH POST)

July 1 “Cambodian PM's son gets military roles amid human rights concerns

… The Daily's closure came weeks after a government crackdown on 32 radio stations, including Radio Free Asia's Phnom Penh bureau, according to figures compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an organisation aimed at protecting press freedom.

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